Miso-oat Travel Bars
These bars pack a punch in flavor and energy and are perfect for a long flight or road trip. Although they require a fair amount of toasting and chopping, the results are more than worth it.
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1½ cups rolled oats
- ½ cup almonds
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2/3 cup nut butter or tahini
- 2 tablespoons miso
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 heaping cup medjool dates (about 14), pitted and chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate, or chocolate chips
Directions: Heat the oven to 325 F and spray or grease an 8-by-8-inch baking pan.
Spread the coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned; keep a close eye on it because it will burn quickly. Set the coconut aside, let it cool completely, and then remove it from the baking sheet.
Turn the oven up to 350 F. Spread the oats and almonds on the baking sheet used for the coconut and on an additional rimmed sheet. Toast until they’re browned and fragrant, about 7 minutes.
While the oats and almonds are toasting, in a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together the maple syrup, nut butter, and miso until fully combined and there are no more lumps of miso. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool completely.
Once the almonds are cool enough to handle, chop them into bite-size pieces and put them in a large bowl with the oats, pumpkin seeds, coconut dates, and chocolate. Stir everything together with a spoon, or use hands to work the date pieces into the mixture. Pour the cooled syrup–nut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir together with a wooden spoon until everything is evenly coated.
Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan; it helps to use something flat, like the bottom of a measuring cup. Refrigerate for at least a few hours and up to overnight to allow the mixture to firm up. Cut into even bars—this makes about 16—using a very sharp knife or pizza cutter. Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature, or freeze them.
—Rebecca Flint Marx, food writer and recipe developer